In 1764 Johannes Herbergs and Peter Heinrich Strepers traveled from Germany to Pennsylvania to recover property which their grandfather had bought in 1682 from a representative of William Penn. Johannes wrote a journal, now in possession of the Rheinishces Freilichtmuseum Kommen. The journal mentions a visit to Jan Grothaus, whose father Hermen had come to America from Bielefeld about 1714.
Initial efforts to locate Herman Grothaus in the Bielefeld church records were unsuccessful. In November 2015, while, while Thomas Hutzelman of Eerie, PA was searching an online archive of church records of the surrounding parishes of Bielefeld, he found the records of the family in the parish of Gross-Dornberg, the next town west of Bielefeld. Birth/baptismal and confirmation records for our Herman Grothaus and several of his children, including Heinrich and his twin Alff, born on 9 Jan 1695, and Johann Adolph, born on 12 Aug 1696, were found in the records of the Evangelical Lutheran Church at Kirch-Dornberg, located west of Gross-Dornberg. Further correspondence between Thomas and researchers in the Bielefeld area yielded the records of Pastor Kenter in the Bielefeld Evangelical Church Archives, which enabled us to trace the family of Herman Grothaus back into the mid-1500s.
The lineage of Herman Grothaus as supported by the evidence available in the Grothaus of Grossdornberg, Westfalen collection follows:
Hartleff Grothaus, born about 1500.
..Heiress Grothaus & Johann Overwerter [aka Grothaus].
....Peter Oberwetter [aka Grothaus] & Catharina Meyer Zu Belke.
......Helmich Grothaus & Anneke Niederwittler.
........Herman Grothaus, born 1670.
..........Heinrich Grothaus, twin, born 1695.
..........Alff Grothaus, twin, born 1695, died three months later.
..........Johann Adolph Grothaus, born 1696.
Present-day Map Showing Grothaus Farm #2 at Grossdornberg. Herman Grothaus was heir to the rights to work this farm for his serf when he emigrated from Grossdornberg, Westfalen to Springfield, Philadelphia County, PA in 1709.